I made the switch back to doing my long run during the evening hours to the daylight since my 50-miler is coming up in less than two weeks and I just needed to get on the trails during the day to practice my climbing and navigational skills. I decided not to load with sodium citrate because I was trying out a new sports nutrition routine and definitely felt a bit off. I have to say that for my body, I am a firm believer in using sodium citrate and the benefits are remarkable. I’ll report more on that after my run this weekend.
My run this past weekend was, well, interesting to say the least. Despite my best efforts at airing it out and not wearing socks whenever possible, the blister on my right heel is still lingering. I have reduced my running frequency to two times per week (one short and one long run) but I keep on opening it after each run. Bandages and duct tape only go so far I guess! Needless to say, I am not comfortable with where my run volume should be for my 50-miler on May 3 but nonetheless, I will charge on and do my best!
After coaching my son’s soccer team on Saturday morning (by the way, we played a tough team and we only scored one goal…my son didn’t find the back of the net this time but had some great shots steer wide of the post BUT he did manage to take two hard shots from the other team to his gut and side to block them from going into our goal…he played phenomenal defense!) it was a rush back home to try to fit in my run before dinner. I headed out at 12:15 on a beautiful Colorado day with the temperature in the mid to upper 60s. I felt very flat the first 25 minutes but luckily managed to get a little “kick” when it really mattered. At about 30 minutes into it, I began my 1500 foot ascent up Carpenter Peak Trail in Roxborough Park (my favorite place to run!) and began to feel the energy of the trail and nature. I missed my PR of this climb by about one minute which isn’t too shabby based on how I was feeling when I first began.
I got to the summit of Carpenter Peak and proceeded onto Waterton Canyon. This shorter stretch was serene. I didn’t see anyone until I hooked up with the Colorado Trail and then it was mountain bikers and hikers galore! Most of the snow on the trail has melted but in the shady spots, there are still some “iffy” spots where footing is compromised or the mud is deep and slick! So, coming down the Colorado Trail to Waterton Canyon was a blast! A 1.1 mile descent of switchbacks! It’s funny because I have completely lost my fear of my right foot (the one I broke last year) which is good but I am now focusing more on protecting my left Achilles (it’s always something!). At one point during my descent, I passed a group of mountain bikers stopped on the trail and gave a “hey” and let them know to just holler when they were coming down so I could get out of their way. Well, I must have been cruisin’ because they didn’t finally pass me until about 20 minutes after we met. As they blazed by me, they gave a “great job up there” yell in recognition of this trail runner’s speed (at least, I hope that was it!). The bottoms of my feet were also really starting to get tender as I was trying out a new pair of trail shoes and I don’t think I have the insoles and socks mix just right yet. I’ll have to work on that a bit for sure!
Back to my Achilles quickly…because of the lower run frequency, it has been feeling very good lately. In addition, I concocted a heel lift that I wear in my left shoe that has helped a ton. However, it is not healed yet and it definitely reminded me that it was still there after my run as I was hobbling around like an old man!
After 21.5 miles, I finally made it back home, dehydrated and starving. I definitely didn’t consume enough fluids or calories but as I mentioned earlier, I was trying out a new sports nutrition routine and needed to stick with it to see if it would work. I inhaled a First Endurance EFS Bar and a bottle of Ultragen when I got home after I gave "air hugs" to my kids (I didn't have the most pleasant smell after the run!). Then it was off to playtime, dinner, more playtime and the bedtime routine with the little ones.
So, with about 1 ½ weeks to go to my first race of the season, I am a bit nervous. I always say, “if you are not nervous, you are not ready” but it’s not those type of nerves right now. It’s the kind where I am worrying about my blister and Achilles and what will really happen to me around the 30-40 mile mark. I know the first 25 miles will come easy and I’ll be able to bang those out but it is the other things that remain an unknown. Don’t worry though, I don’t lose sleep over it. I mean, if I can finish my first attempt at the Leadville 100 mile trail run with a tibial stress fracture, what's a little blister and Achilles challenge?
This upcoming weekend is busy again (what else is new?!). Coaching my son’s soccer game, then heading off to speak at a triathlon expo. After that, it will be a rush home to try to get in the same run I did last weekend before dinner time. Except this time in about 30 minutes less!
The good news is that I still remain positive about this race. I’m going to do it. I’m going to finish it and I’m going to let my fitness level determine my effort. Oh, and by the way, did I say I was going to tackle it buffered?
Should be fun. Until my next post…